How To Disable Facebook’s Open Graph and Get Your Privacy Back

Facebook, at their recent F8 conference, announced several new initiatives that puts them right in the thick of the social media campaign. Chief among those initiatives is what Facebook is calling the Open Graph. What this means for you as a user is that if you go to a website that partners with and implements facebook’s Open Graph protocol and has Facebook like buttons, and you click one of those buttons, the website can share your likes (and your behaviour on the site) with Facebook.

For example, Your music preferences on Pandora (which is an Open Graph launch partner) are shared with Facebook which may then choose to share it with your other friends (or advertisers).

Scared, already ?

Thankfully, Facebook has made it reasonably easy to exclude yourself from the “Open Graph”.

Exclude Yourself From Facebook’s Open Graph

First of all, sign in to Facebook and open your privacy settings.

Facebook - Privacy Settings

Click the “Applications and Websites” link.

Facebook - Privacy Settings

Press the “Edit Settings” button on the “Instant Personalization” section. Deselect the check-box that says “Allow select partners to instantly personalize their features with my public information when I first arrive on their websites.

Facebook will prompt you to confirm your selection. Press the Confirm button.

Facebook - Instant Personalization

Facebook also lets your friends share certain information about you, like your photos for instance. If you want to disable that also then go back and press the Edit Settings button in the “What your friends can share about you” section and make sure that you deselect each one of those check-boxes.

Facebook - Friends

You’re done .. Almost.

For the initial launch of the Open Graph API, facebook has partnered with Yelp, Pandora and Docs and you have to individually go to each application’s page on Facebook and block them if you don’t want to share any information from them.

To block Pandora, for example, visit the Pandora Page and click the Block Application link below the Pandora logo.

Facebook - Pandora Page

Repeat the same step for Yelp and Docs as well.

That should cover you from these three applications.

Do you feel safe now?